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Topic: Mobile DJ volume
I'm mainly a mobile DJ, and mainly for older crowds (25+) at birthdays, company events and so on

I find myself playing at a lower and lower volume over the years. Maybe because I'm getting older, maybe because the audience is getting older, but it means that normally it's possible to have a (loud) conversaion while dancing when you are 3-4m from the speakers. And it seems everybodys happy with it. No one complains about the music being too loud, not even old grandma in the corner, and there is still dancing and partying on teh dancefloor so nobody seems to want it louder

What are your experince regarding music volume as a Mobile DJ?


Posted Wed 09 Nov 11 @ 6:58 am
I try to keep the levels as low as possible have always played that way. I don't think there is a good reason to play as loud as you can.

Posted Wed 09 Nov 11 @ 8:18 am
Good topic... I've Dj'ed and played (guitar - cover bands) for over 15 years, and noticed a few things:

- older crowd as time goes on, everyone wants the volume lower. Reason? When your dancing for 30+ minutes, it does get a bit boring. Being able to talk while dancing is part of the fun, even at clubs when your trying to pick up girls. No one is a hardcore professional dancer.
- lower volumes seem to reduce the effect of massive EDM buildups. They just don't feel as dramatic, but funny thing, people still enjoy it.
- I've been to clubs where the thumping beat pounds your chest to the point that it's' almost hard to breathe. I used to, but can't stand it anymore. So we're all getting older.


How about yoru headphones? I used to listen to the music blaring in my ears with nice expensive cans. I noticed in the past few years, my ears start to ring within 5 minutes of this. I have to almost turn the music off in my ears once the song is mixed in. It makes it somewhat less enjoyable, and harder to mix if you have echo from the front of house speakers.

We are getting older for sure, and the beats are getting heavier and louder!

Posted Wed 09 Nov 11 @ 8:35 am
I set my level based on the amount of background noise - could be talking, traffic, air conditioning, whatever.

Set it to be audible over the noise, but not excessively so.

As the evening goes on and more people arrive, the noise level increases, and so I increase the volume.

The more you do it, the more you "just know" where it needs to be. Like driving, you know what 30 feels like, without needing to watch the speedo.

It's never set to be more than it needs to be though. For one thing, I need to hear requests!

Posted Wed 09 Nov 11 @ 8:58 am
mp3jrickPRO InfinityHonorary MemberMember since 2003
Wait for guests to request more volume is what I do.
Volume has never pulled people out of their chairs to dance that I know of.

Posted Wed 09 Nov 11 @ 10:01 am
I like it fairly loud. I've DJed in nightclubs my entire career of over 28 years but I also do lots of mobile stuff. At weddings in particular I keep the music relatively moderate. People want to talk. Many are old family and friends that haven't seen each other for years and want to talk even when dancing. I find though however that couples tend to dance more than talk and even ask me to raise the volume...


Keep Spinnin'!!

Posted Wed 09 Nov 11 @ 11:00 am
Volume it altered through out the night depending how busy it is, it's more about quality and depth than volume for me.

Sometimes you get an audience that expect a performance and then other times you get an audience that have no concept of this and think its normal for a DJ to just do request in any order as they come. I like the later sometimes as it's just so easy, your a talking jukebox, volume is lower on those night as is the performance lol

Posted Wed 09 Nov 11 @ 12:19 pm
I start out low, and thump when its time. Being a mobile usually means your sound is only coming from one side of the room, leaving a quiet side for people to still chat.
I'd rather be told to turn it up than down.... why not, they're going to bug me about everything else, why not volume also!

Posted Wed 09 Nov 11 @ 4:44 pm
As a mobile dj, being on one side of the room so that the other side is quiet enough rarely works. Mainly because I find the people that want to talk and not hear the music are the ones that sit right next to the speakers and moan about it being too loud, while the ones that will eventually be dancing are stood at the other side by the bar getting drunk. So many times I have wanted to tell the ones moaning about the volume not to sit next to the speakers but instead I say "OK I'll turn it down" I do then turn it down and the ones the other side of the room come up and moan they can't hear it so I turn it back up & if I then get the first ones that asked be to turn it down back up again I can say that I was told to turn it back up again.
Either way the mobile dj has a much harder time than club dj's. I do both & club work is so much less trouble.

Posted Wed 09 Nov 11 @ 9:06 pm
WARNING LONG POST, sos 2nd time coming cuss VDJ logged me out...

I moderate my volume as much as possible to keep things interesting, even cutting it at key points to keep ‘em on their feet.
In Oz the loudest you can go without a permit is 97db and even that will damage your ears at a 3h+ gig. My tip though is to just turn it up until it feels alright for you and until people start smiling and nodding their heads to the music. Doing this you’d be surprised how quite you can go + this gives you room to really slam it at key moments.

The only place where you will need 110db is at a large concert, where sound needs to be thrown a large distance (about 20% of it is absorbed through people and the surroundings, so, 22% of 110 is actually 88db ) otherwise your damaging everyone’s ears, annoying neighbors and over stressing your equipment. So why bother?
Another issue with volume is almost always about subs. People love them because they make bodies vibrate in sync with the music and thus make them want to dance, although, this is very dangerous. Subs produce one of the most dangerous sound weightings (C or D, forgot) which cause the ear cells to over-vibrate as well as the body’s cells and organs – fatiguing the dancer and annoying neighbors. There isn’t much you can do about this, except for turning things down a little. i.e. why use a wind tunnel to cool down when you could just use an office fan

Ironically, over-powering is the way to go as far as I’m concerned, to an extent of course. For example:
My back up system consists of a 160w amp and two speakers. To just about reach 90db I have to turn it up ¾ way – stressing out the whole system.
My main system consists of two 800w, powered, speakers and one 1600w sub. To reach the same levels I only have to turn them up ¼ > ½ way giving me much more headroom.
So buying better gear can only be better. Less stress can produce more volume if needed, and usually better quality. Just watch out for crafty marketing, if it don’t say rms then subtract at most 25% of said wattage to get an estimate of club levels (for a more accurate reading subtract 50%).
In summary, the loudest DJ is not the best DJ.

Myself > 3 years music technician and recording artist and 1 years professional mobile DJ

Posted Thu 10 Nov 11 @ 6:56 am
Music needs to be played at a certain volume level to create a mood for dancing... I agree that if it's too loud it can be intrusive, but if it's not loud enough you can't create a party atmosphere. There's always going to be some old coot that says it's too loud and asks you to turn it down, but if you feel it's not too loud then you need to stand your ground because you don't want to let one 'sensitive' person kill the party.

Also, I always play background music during dinner at a perfect volume level... loud enough to be heard, quite enough to be ignored... but there will always be one old fogey who'll will come up and ask me to turn it down because they can't hear each other talk at their table. What they fail to realize that it's not the music they're trying to talk over, but rather the overall ambient noise of 300 people in a room talking at at the same time. I could turn the music completely off and it would still be just as loud in the room. Sometimes the bride and groom will pick specific songs they want to hear during dinner and I'm not about to deny the bride and groom because some cranky old fart is overly sensitive.

Lastly, I find it funny that old people seem to complain mostly when it's music they don't like. If I'm playing Kanye West and the young people are raging on the dance floor all of a sudden "it's too loud", but they never come up and complain when I'm playing Elvis at the same volume level. Oh, and a sure fire way to magically summon an old person to come up and complain is to bust out some scratching... a couple of jigga jiggas and they come flocking to the DJ booth as if I was playing the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. Sometimes at a wedding I'll play all oldies for the first hour and the dance floor energy is so-so with the old people shuffling around half assed, but then when I start playing new, high energy music for the young people and they're out there tearing up the dance floor I swear it's like the old people say "Uh oh, the young people are having fun and enjoying themselves to music we don't like, we'll have none of that, let's go complain to the DJ".

In short, you should always be conscientious of volume levels but you should never let one or two people ruin the vibe because they are overly sensitive to loud music. You shouldn't let one person dictate the volume level in the same way you wouldn't appease someone who insisted you play Lawrence Welk all night because it makes THEM happy... the party is for everyone, not just one person. There's always gonna be one person who's cranky and just wants to spoil the party... in fact I firmly believe that some older people just hate DJs because they've attended events where the music actually was too loud so they're intent on forever making it their mission to be the volume police. Stand your ground DJs!

Posted Fri 11 Nov 11 @ 8:44 am
coach kPRO InfinityMember since 2010
This is tricky depending on the type of crowd you're catering too. So what I do is make it known, the only one who has control over the volume is the one who is paying me, because you'll have everyone in their mother crying too loud, too low, so if the person who hired me isn't saying anything, it'll just get louder and louder until further notice. Besides, I keep my headphones on my head 98% of the time.

Just this past summer, my business partner almost slapped a chic because she went to turn up his mixer, when the person who hired us, said please keep the volume low until further notice. I had to calm him down quick, because to him, unauthorized people touching his equipment is like touching his kids the wrong way!

Posted Fri 11 Nov 11 @ 10:07 am
"Music needs to be played at a certain volume level to create a mood for dancing... I agree that if it's too loud it can be intrusive, but if it's not loud enough you can't create a party atmosphere"

Whats an appropriate volume playing to a pumping dance floor, usually is to loud when the same dance-floor has less people.

Very loud music also causes a threshold shift (a form of tempory hearing impairment)

For these reasons I vary the volume throughout the night, turning up the volume for really pumping floor fillers.

Posted Sun 13 Nov 11 @ 9:20 pm
djcityPRO InfinityMember since 2005
I have found that sound QUALITY is more important than volume.

I am a club and mobile DJ. I'm not gonna say I don't play loud cause I do. I play VERY loud. I never hit red, My highs are crisp and clear and my bass is deep and defined.

With good sound, you can play louder and your crowd can still converse to an extent. (If your at a party and don't want to hear loud music, leave the party)

With good sound, you can play at lower volumes and your crowd can still feel the music.

My experience is that people tend to dance when they can FEEL the music instead of just hear it.

Posted Mon 14 Nov 11 @ 4:28 pm
nitebeatdisco wrote :
"Music needs to be played at a certain volume level to create a mood for dancing... I agree that if it's too loud it can be intrusive, but if it's not loud enough you can't create a party atmosphere"

Whats an appropriate volume playing to a pumping dance floor, usually is to loud when the same dance-floor has less people.

Very loud music also causes a threshold shift (a form of tempory hearing impairment)

For these reasons I vary the volume throughout the night, turning up the volume for really pumping floor fillers.

Understood, but why are you quoting what I said?

Posted Tue 15 Nov 11 @ 1:20 am